Trump World Grab-Bag--A Collection

Sunday, May 23, 2010

Playing catch-up--

I've felt next-to-useless this past week and missed covering some interesting things.

Here they go:

This is Cynthia Dunbar, whose prayer is not either a self-important lecture that is more or less pronouncing exactly the outcome she wants in the Texas curriculum exchange in the name of her very particular god:

Much of the really silly things in the Texas curriculum passed, although the youngsters will be spared the nonsense of referring to the "slave trade" by the positively deceitful "triangular trade" and the motion to refer to the current president by his full name-- "Barack Hussein Obama" was curtailed for being, well the kind of thing it was. But the kids will still get more Reagan, Gingrich and Schlafly than they probably need. And be lied to about the separation of church and state.

Oh! And regarding church and state separation and Gingrich, here is some Gingrich being really obnoxious and probably trying to sell his new book to the dwindling number of Glenn Beck fans:

Ignore his pathos for the patriots at Valley Forge--what's his deal with "secular"? What's wrong with this country being secular? Religious values don't really by definition have a place in our political discourse--because the Constitution does not allow for any particular creed dominating the discourse. The government should not favor any particular creed, and there should be no litmus tests deciding who can hold political office. It's not like anyone anywhere said that people holding office need to be "undecided" as far as religion goes--or else we'd have an overwhelmingly atheist/agnostic contingent in government. We absolutely have people of faith representing us in government. It's just that people of various faiths or no-faith aren't to be discriminated against by government services. So the person who isn't Judeo-Christian isn't supposed to be confronted by a Ten Commandments plaque in a courtroom to let him know he is somehow a heathen who might be judged differently. Or a child of no-faith isn't supposed to perform a religious act in praying or singing words that are a lie to his or her non-belief in a public school.

Why doesn't Gingrich, who is not stupid, understand that "secular" is not a slur, but actually, neutral? Or is it that he'd rather see secular as a slur, to suck up to the religious? Hmm.

(I'd go into why "socialist" isn't a slur either, because any government is, to some extent, "socializing" from the very second a tax is levied in the very broadest sense of what governments do, but since I think the casual reader lighting upon my blog like a lady bug lighting upon a tomato plant at least knows that much, I won't press the point. In other words, Newt takes too much for granted that his listeners are stupider than him. And if any of his hearers were actually cleverer than him, he'd be well and truly f***ed? No?)

And BP finally--we get to see the damage, or as Brit Hume I think rhetorically put it--"Where is the oil?"

Oh, there it is:

BP put a pipe down there that they are a little proud of because it is siphoning off 5,000 gallons barrels a day from the leak--which is exactly the amount they originally said the gusher was putting out a day. And yet, it seems like so much more than they originally said is actually getting out. It's like several Exxon Valdezes by now. Or any number of BP's very own Prudhoe Bays. I truly wish they knew how to cap this nasty mess.

And as for what the White House is doing--what does anyone suggest--taking over BP? Offering a bundle of government-backed assistance? That would be so much socialism! Oh stop! Why wouldn't the people at BP who decided they knew where and how deep to drill and what the risks were entirely soak up the responsibility? Those are just the risks of capitalism, right? To bail out BP from such a disaster is....a moral hazard.


Maybe with so much ecology at stake, this a very high-risk poker game for the Administration to play. I understand, of course. I just regret the stakes, and think the American south and the fragile swamps and wetlands and the pretty islands down there, and the bird sanctuaries and so much attractive beach to play on, in other words, a swath of irreplaceably valuable real estate, is at stake--

But I want people who depend on real estate and tourism to get mad. I want the fishermen and their friends to get mad. I want scientists who treasure our biodiversity to get mad. I want everyone to be a little mad, a lot. Mad enough to change the rules. Mad enough that this doesn't happen again.

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